A Yogic Approach to Sleep

A Yogic Approach to Sleep

“Life is an endless dream…

and dreams are endless life…”

“We rarely hear the inner music,

but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless”

Quotes by Rumi

DREAMSTATE: What dosha are you in your dreams?

Hindu philosophy has always expressed the idea that we perceive this life as real until, we awaken into a greater reality. Dreams express our uninhibited states of consciousness, experiences unencumbered by society, local and national customs and inhibitions, planted into our minds at a young age. We can say we are free in our dreams…free from any façade. No one else is looking at us…when we are dreaming.

In the inner realms there is a life- we experience as a soul (jiva), which isn’t unlike this one. The Vedic scriptures name this world Antarloka, and there are many great “schools” we find there, according to the philosophy of Raja Yoga, the yoga of consciousness. We meet others in those planes, souls that we may not encounter until our next incarnation, or a later date but nonetheless, they are preparing for the next cycle.

In order to soar to these inner schools and planes we must bypass the lower dream state. This can be done with mantras or japa yoga, right before we fall asleep, and after relaxing the body through some asanas and diaphragmatic breathing.

In Ayurveda the physicians categorize dreams by bodytype, individual nature, or the three doshas. The pitta dosha dreams of fire, the vata of air, and the kapha which is both earth and water often dream of water. But if Gods wanted to communicate with us, how would they? Possibly by visions in a dream state. The Hindu thought separates the types of communication we receive in dreams into two kinds – The ego with the individual needs and the higher self or Supreme Self. Some dreams come from the person’s nature and others from the emotional nature, some from the subconscious fears, and some from just playing back experiences in daily life.

But certain dreams are brought by the Gods. Signs, symbols, and body language have great meaning to the Asian people. There are prophetic dreams that come from the super conscious mind, beyond the subconscious. That is a state of mind that sees into the future and into the past simultaneously, and is able to read the akashic records. It is this state of mind that is tapped to communicate a message to the physical brain through a dream. Good or bad, these dreams are a glimpse into the future, usually in an intense period of one’s life. Remember, to be forewarned it is to be forearmed.

“When japa is well performed and there is sincere desire to transcend the forces of the physical body and enter into the realms of the astral schools, then the aspirant would have dreamless nights.” Satguru Sivaya Subraniyaswami wrote in his teachings on dreaming.

Awakening the deeper rasa is connection with spirit and the essence of life.

We should all know that our super consciousness, or third eye, our durdarsana, can warn us of events. Like visions these messages from the Gods cannot be forgotten and can even be remembered more vividly as time progresses. And these are the dreams you want to share with an analyst in regards to your life or life path, because if you remember a dream a month later it’s not an ordinary dream, it has meaning.

There can also be healing dreams, having closure with someone in the dream for example. Or a cure may come to consciousness; some see their dead loved ones. In Hindu thought, when someone sees they are dying, it means you are going to live.

By including in our practice Jyotish (astrology), Vastu (space energy flow- similar to Feng shui), yamas and niyamas (the ten living and ten ethical principals) we cultivate the deeper rasa, the ability to connect to the universal awareness, the space of awareness, the atma. Dr. Frawley says it is an expansive consciousness invocation, similar to the mantra “OM”. It is ananda, the pure joy of an ecstatic experience with God, it is to extract the deepest beauty and essence of each moment of life.

The Language of the Gods is not a mystery – all ancient traditions had their way to decipher and extract meaning if they happened to find signs from other where- away from the mundane. Prophetic dreams give us the symbolism to forewarn us but still we question if we know how to distinguish them from the ordinary dreams. Are dreams mere imaginations or are they real?

Sadhana will awaken the inner guide in dream state

Karmas exist only in the waking state even though emotions do exist in dreaming, and those emotions are considered to be dream karmas, which as real karmas, are going to eventually manifest in the physical plane if not re-experienced and dissolved within the dream realm.  This can be done if the person has affected a certain soul control over their mind, body and emotions. The reason is, the physical life naturally carries over into the dream reality.

The two separate realities we experience are actually a continuum according to Hindu thought, and so are our subsequent lives of death and rebirth. All are a continuum in space-time.

We probably need a different term to speak of dreams in order to include their true nature… And would it be possible to add a different symbolism to our language and to our basic communicating skills, a language universal and interdimensional? The Sanskrit word for dream, svapna, is etymologically related to the Greek word hypnos. It is only one of the avasthas or states of consciousness given in the Upanishads:

Jagrat, the waking state,

Svapna, the sleeping or dreaming state,

Sushupti, deep sleep,

and the fourth state, Turiya or Samadhi.

In order to explore the states of sleep we must become familiar with the philosophy and terminology, we have to comprehend a different set of rules in the astral plane and be aware of the symbolism in those other realms, but most of all we must learn how to control the mind, and many have done it. All mystic traditions speak of prophetic dreams and/or of several people having the same dream…

We could indeed become conscious in our dreams, and navigate the ship of our destiny, but if there’s not enough time to do that in a lifetime for someone, then they could rejoice remembering what Rumi said:

The eye is meant to see things. The soul is here for its own joy.

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